Running My Way To Emotional Healing

Days before I left Guam and began this emotional healing journey, I had an emergency session with my psychiatrist. It was to renew meds, but she also knew that my entire world had been rocked. She had just given me the approval to get stationed overseas with my fiancé a week before, because I’d worked hard all summer, and my mental health was stable. Everything was fine. Then, without warning, I was suddenly single and leaving my home. She sat down with me for about an hour, listening, and helping me process the shock and pain. I remember feeling so numb and overwhelmed. At first, I couldn’t get words out other than, “I don’t understand what happened. I don’t know what happened.”

One thing from that appointment sticks firmly in mind, and I think about it every day.

She asks if I liked running. I hate it, but I force myself to because my meds cause weight gain. She smiles at my response, but presses further, asking if I run for time or distance. I shrug, saying distance, but wondering where she’s going with these questions.

She says, “You’re going to be doing some emotional healing, and that is like running for time.”

I ask what she means by that. She says, “Say you’re running two miles. That run can be any amount of time you choose. You can run slow or fast and that two miles gets knocked out. When you’re running for time, it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run. That thirty minutes is going to be thirty minutes. That’s what emotional healing is like. It’s going to take time.”

I nod, thinking, “Well shit, this is going to be a long process whether I want it to be or not.”

Maybe I took her words a little too literally, but I began running when I got to Florida. I ran for time instead of distance. It hurt much more than running for distance. I stopped to walk a lot the first time, but by the second time I had worked out a pace. Over the weeks, I’ve gone farther and farther every thirty minutes. I’ve even lengthened the time to forty-five minutes and an hour for the extraordinary reason of feeling good and not wanting to stop.

My first 5K in Orlando. I tripped and fell about 1.5 miles in, but I had so much fun. Running is about emotional healing now, as well as physical fitness.
My first 5K in Orlando. I tripped and fell about 1.5 miles in but it was fun!

My doctor’s words are with me during each run. I’ve always hated running, but I enjoy it now. I visualize myself getting closer and closer to my goals of acceptance, wellness, and happiness. Running doesn’t result in feeling like death anymore. It’s a release. A lot of times tears mix in with the sweat as I let go of one thing after another. I feel lighter afterward. My fitness goal for 2020 is running the Disney Princess half marathon.

My doctor encouraged me before I left her office. She said I probably wouldn’t see it right away, but heart break was handing me one of the greatest opportunities to evolve and grow. The chance to become the woman that I was meant to be stood right there in front of me. I had the means to be fulfilled and healed on my own. She hoped I’d take it.

All I needed to do was put in the effort and keep going.
Just like a timed run.

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I am enough – Week 3 of Short Affirmations for anxiety

Last week’s affirmation, I am open and ready to receive proved itself to be exactly what I needed. I was met with quite a few unexpected challenges throughout the week. It was enough to make me really put my affirmation to the test.

The biggest challenge was getting into a small car accident. There were no injuries, thank goodness. My car suffered some damage, and it was a daunting task to ask, “How can I look at this situation positively? There’s nothing positive about a car accident.” Eventually I stumbled upon it after pouting for fifteen minutes.

I became grateful for what I had instead of fearing what I could lose. I counted my blessings. No one was harmed. My insurance covered a tow and repairs, as well as a sweet rental car. I also had money in emergency savings to cover my deductible. My dad came to help immediately. By the time the tow truck driver came, we were giggling about two squirrels playing tag.

Having an unexpected setback didn’t ruin my day, week, or month. The old me would ruminate over how the world conspired against my happiness and growth and couldn’t let me have either. New me is like, “Wellp! It’s a challenge, but I can meet and surpass it.” I can tell that I’m actually changing, because I didn’t sprint to negative self-talk. I forced myself to see the good, and reached out to people that would encourage me. Slowly, but surely, I am letting go of thoughts and ideas that do not serve me. The war with a negative self-identity is not won yet, but I am winning each battle as they arise. Little miracles and victories!

This little affirmation also led me on a path to understanding what I needed to do concerning my relationship with my parents. That’s another post for another day.

I am enough. My weekly lock screen. Feel free do download and use this as a reminder each day.
Click to save lock screen

How are we cruising into this week? In style on the S.S. Confidence. I’m starting each morning with the phrase, “I am enough.”

I am enough for any and every challenge that presents itself. My thoughts are enough to create happiness and resilience. I am good enough and smart enough. All past experiences and mistakes make me strong enough to change. My heart is big enough to squash self-hatred and negativity. Every bit of me is enough.

My message to you?
We are enough for what we attract in life.